Reuters‘s James Pomfret sums up the painting sales in Hong Kong:
“People are more conservative now and they’re just waiting for the piece they really like and then go for it,” said Anthony Tao, a Hong Kong gallery owner and dealer at the sales. “It (the market) will only move up step by step.” […] In the Asian contemporary sale, Chinese artists once again dominated. […] solid results were seen for the works of Liu Ye, Li Songsong and Fang Lijun, with most top lots bought by mainland Chinese collectors.
“It was already up from what we expected,” said Budi Tek, an Indonesian-Chinese collector at the sales, who was hoping to pick up some bargains with the Chinese contemporary market widely seen to have fallen by at least half what it was at its peak.
“I think we’d like to see some good works selling a little bit lower for us to pick up.” There were however, a number of big misses, as collectors opted for quality and more reasonably priced works.
Of the 23 percent of artwork unsold were a number of contemporary Chinese works once in the hands of prominent British collector Charles Saatchi, including a large “ash head” sculpture by Zhang Huan and a wax waterfall by Zheng Guogu.
Mixed Results at Sotheby’s Chinese Paintings Sales (Reuters)